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Murdered Sheola's dad found dead in bathroom

TRIBUTES have been paid to victims' rights campaigner Peter Keaney (47), who has been discovered dead at his home.

Mr Keaney -- whose only child Sheola (19) was murdered in 2006 -- was discovered dead at his Elm Park home in Clonmel, Co Tipperary late on Tuesday evening.

The discovery came after neighbours had become concerned about Mr Keaney's welfare after failing to see him around his house for some time.

Entry was gained to the house and Mr Keaney was discovered lying dead in the bathroom.

It is understood he may have been dead for some time.

A post-mortem examination was conducted at Waterford Regional Hospital although the death is not being treated as suspicious.

It is believed Mr Keaney may have died from a heart attack.





strangled

A native of Cobh, Co Cork, Mr Keaney had devoted his life to campaigning for the rights of crime victims and their families after the murder of his daughter.

Sheola was strangled by her ex-boyfriend, Thomas Kennedy (25), as she walked home from a party and her body dumped near a Cobh rugby pitch.

The body was not discovered for three days.

Mr Keaney kept a framed photo of his daughter by his bedside for the rest of his life.

In recent years, he had focused his rights campaign on the need to provide counselling support to victims and their families after violent crimes.

Mr Keaney was also a staunch supporter of the victims' rights group, AdVic.

AdVic secretary Annie Mulvaney said yesterday she was "saddened" by his death.

"Peter was deeply traumatised by the death of his daughter and found common purpose with other AdVic members.

"Like all of us in AdVic, he felt that the system was unfair and his involvement in AdVic was to try to redress that balance."

Mr Keaney also campaigned for greater communication between the gardai, the judiciary and victims' families in the wake of prosecutions.

One Clonmel man said Mr Keaney's Elm Park home was like "a shrine to his daughter".

"There were photographs everywhere and one room was still left as a child's room," he said.

hnews@herald.ie